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pleased itself with discovering how far it was possible to subdue and degrade the human intellect, as an Eastern despot measures his own greatness by the servile prostration of his subjects. If farther proof than has already appeared were needful, it would be found in the prodigious doctrine of Transubstantiation. This astonishing doctrine arose from taking figurative words in a literal sense; and the Romanists do not shrink from the direct inference, that if their interpretation be just, Christ took his own body in his own hands, and offered it to his disciples. But all minor difficulties may easily be overlooked, when the flagrant absurdity of the doctrine itself is regarded. For, according to the Church of Rome, when the words of consecration have been pronounced, the bread becomes that same actual body of flesh and blood in which our Lord and Saviour suffered upon the Cross; remaining bread to the sight, touch, and taste, yet ceasing to be so,-and into how many parts soever the bread may be broken, the whole entire body is contained in every part.

"Of all the corruptions of Christianity, there was none which the Popes so long hesitated to sanction as this. When the question was brought before Hildebrand, he not only inclined to the opinion of Berenger, by whom it was opposed, but pretended to consult the Virgin Mary, and then declared that she had pronounced against it. Nevertheless, it prevailed, and was finally declared, by Innocent III., at the fourth Lateran Council, to be a tenet necessary to salvation. Strange as it may appear, the doctrine had become popular, with the people, for its very extravagance,―with the Clergy, because they grounded upon it their loftiest pretensions. For if there were in the sacrament this actual and entire sole presence, which they denoted by the term of transubstantiation, it followed that divine worship was something more than a service of prayer and thanksgiving; an actual sacrifice was performed in it, wherein they affirmed the Saviour was again


offered up, in the same body which had suffered on the cross, by their hands. The priest, when he performed this stupendous function of his ministry, had before his eyes, and held in his hands, the Maker of heaven and earth; and the inference which they deduced from so blasphemous an assumption was, that the Clergy were not to be subject to any secular authority, seeing that they could create God their Creator! Let it not be supposed that the statement is in the slightest part exaggerated, it is delivered faithfully in their own words."Southey's Book of the Church, vol. i. p. 314.

The Rev. W. S. Gilly has inserted in his interesting little tract, entitled "Our Protestant Forefathers," a document of such remote antiquity as the very commencement of the 13th century, in which the idolatry connected with this doctrine is distinctly asserted. He states that at a conference at Montreal, in the year 1206, the Albigenses maintained, as Allix has shown,

"I. That the Church of Rome was not the holy Church nor the spouse of Christ, but that it was a Church which had drunk in the doctrine of devils.

II. That the mass was neither instituted by Christ nor his Apostles, but a human invention.

III. That the prayers for the living are unprofitable for the dead.

IV. That the purgatory maintained in the Church of Rome is no better than a human invention, to satisfy the avarice of the priests.

V. That the saints ought not to be prayed unto.

VI. That transubstantiation is a human invention and erroneous doctrine; and that the worshipping of the bread is manifest idolatry.

That therefore it was necessary to separate from the Church of Rome, in which the contrary was said and taught, because one cannot assist at the mass without partaking of the

idolatry there practised, nor expect salvation by any other means than by Jesus Christ, nor transfer to creatures the honour which is due to the Creator, nor say, concerning the bread, that it is God, and worship it as such, without incurring the pain of eternal damnation, because idolaters shall not inherit the kingdom of heaven. For all these things, which they asserted, they were hated and persecuted to death."Our Protestant Forefathers, p. 20.

No. 3.

SOME further remarks may here be made upon the 71st Tract, and extracts given from it, of which the limits of the Charge did not admit.

The writer makes an extraordinary concession with regard to the bishop of Rome's taking precedence of other bishops. He maintains that a true distinction may be drawn between the Pope's "primacy in honour and authority, and his sovereignty or universal jurisdiction;" whereas, it was the admission of the former grounded upon tradition, not on Scripture, which prepared the way for the latter, with all its train of disastrous consequences. He then proceeds to say, "Either the bishop of Rome has really a claim upon our deference, or he has not; so it will be urged; and our safe argument at the present day will lie in waiving the question altogether, and saying that, even if he has, ACCORDING TO THE PRIMITIVE RULE, EVER SO MUCH AUTHORITY (AND THAT HE HAS SOME e. g. THE PRECEDENCE OF OTHER BISHOPS, NEED NOT BE DENIED) that it is in matter of fact altogether suspended, and under abeyance, while he upholds a corrupt system, against which it is our duty to protest."

It was, in the first instance, the concession, according “to the primitive rule," of a "primacy in honour and authority," and of a "precedence of other bishops," which paved the way

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for that usurped supremacy which the popes eventually exercised, and still continue to exercise in those countries, which are not yet emancipated from their thraldom. This "primacy," or "precedence," seems to be included in the title of "Universal Bishop," and to be equivalent to it. But whosoever assumed that title in the judgment of Gregory the First, was to be regarded as the forerunner of Antichrist. His declaration relative to this claim, which has been often brought forward in controversies with the Romanists, is thus introduced by Bishop Hurd, in his Warburtonian Lectures.— So early, as about the close of the Sixth Century, Gregory the First, or the Great, as he is usually called, the most revered, and, in some respects, not undeservedly so, of all the Roman Pontiffs, in a famous dispute with the Bishop of Constantinople, who had taken to himself the title of Oecumenical, or Universal Bishop, objects to him the arrogance and presumption of this claim, and treats him, on that account as the forerunner, at least, of Antichrist. His words are remarkable enough to be here quoted. 'I affirm it confidently,' says he, that whosoever calls himself Universal Bishop, or is desirous to be so called, demonstrates himself, by this pride and elation of heart, to be the forerunner of Antichrist.' And again, from this presumption of his' (in taking the name of Universal Bishop,) 'what else can be collected, but that the times of Antichrist are now at hand.' -The learned prelate then proceeds to say,-"It is to be observed of this Gregory, that he disclaimed, for himself, the title of Universal Bishop, as well as refused it to his aspiring brother of Constantinople. How consistently he did this, when at the same time, he exercised an authority, which can belong only to that exalted character, it is not my business to inquire. Perhaps he did not advert to the consequence of his own actions;—perhaps, like an able man, he meant to secure the thing, without troubling himself about the name;-perhaps he was jealous of

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a rival to this claim of Catholic authority, and would not permit the Bishop of Constantinople to decorate himself with a title, which was likely to be favourable to the pretensions of that see, and injurious to his own. Whatever the reasons of his conduct were, the fact is, as I now represent it."--An Introduction to the Study of the Prophecies, &c. By Bishop Hurd, pp. 226-228.

The sentiments of a living prelate upon the subject of the "primacy" of the Pope may here appropriately be subjoined. "After all it would be difficult to comprehend on what principle the primacy of the Popes could be established, even were it granted, that they were successors of St. Peter, and his successors in any sense of the word, which they might choose to adopt. If Bishops, who preside where a Church was founded by an Apostle, have on that account a title to precedence, the Bishops of Corinth, Thessalonica, Ephesus, and of other Churches founded by St. Paul, had as good a right to precedence as the Bishop of Rome. Aye, but St. Paul, they say, was not equal in rank to St. Peter, who was the prince of the Apostles (princeps Apostolorum,”—or as it is in Vol. i. No. 15. p. 5. of the Oxford Tracts,-FOREMOST OF THE APOSTLES.) "Now St. Paul himself has positively denied such precedence. He says, (2.Cor. xi. 5.) that he was not a whit behind the very chiefest Apostles. It is further argued, that St. Peter was the rock, on which the Church was built. So indeed he was. He was the rock on which the Church of Jerusalem was built, the Church which was the mother of all Churches, and which, if the arguments of the Romanists were valid, might claim to be mistress of all Churches. At this very day there is a Patriarch of Jerusalem, who though he possesses no patrimony of St. Peter, has an infinitely stronger claim to the primacy among Christians, than the Pope of Rome."-Comparative View of the Churches

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